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Call Centers India Challenges HR Professionals

Call Centers India Challenges HR Professionals



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Published by Azhar Abbas

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Published by: Azhar Abbas on Jul 30, 2008
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Call Centers in India- Challenges for HR Professionals!!!
Call Centers in India- Challenges for HR 
The term incoming call center is being doggedly challenged by many just as it isbecoming a household term. What is it? A center that handles telephone calls?Hardly. Telephone calls are just one type of transaction. Further, the word centerdoesn't accurately depict the many multi-site environments, nor the growing numberof organizations that have telecommuting programs.Various individuals and organizations have tried to define call center but likedefinitions of leadership "or" customer service many miss the mark or are created toserve a specific purpose. So, let's go at this from a different angle. Characteristics of a call center generally include:
Calls go to a group of people, not a specific person. In other words, agentsare cross-trained to handle a variety of transactions.
Generally, a special telecommunications system called an automatic calldistributor (ACD) is used to distribute calls among agents, and put calls inqueue when all agents are occupied. They also play messages: "All of ourcustomer service representatives are currently assisting other callers.However, your call is very important to us..." Most call centers also make useof advanced network services (e.g., 800 and 888 services) and voiceprocessing capabilities ("press one for this, two for that," or "please enteryour account number...").
Agents have quick access to current information, via specialized databaseprograms. This means that any agent has access to the current status of youraccount, products, services and other information.Call centers represent a unique management challenge. Forecasting calls, calculatingstaffing requirements, organizing sensible schedules, managing the environment inreal-time, and, in general, getting the right people in the right places at the righttimes.
Call Centers in India
One the paradoxes of the call-center industry in India is that it requires English-speaking university graduates to answer questions from US customers but offerslittle in the way of advancement and intellectual stimulation. High turn-over ratesare inevitable if the economy keeps expanding and thus offers more compellingemployment options for well-educated Indians. Moreover, the rapid expansion of thecall sector may soon create a shortage of these qualified English-speaking collegegraduates in India, pushing wages up and reducing India's competitiveness as one of the premier destinations for company call-centers. This may not bode well for India'seconomy, because outsourcing has become a significant engine of Indian rapid 
Page Number: 1From The Desk of Sanjeev Sharma(Mobile Number: +91-9890788259)(Puna-India)
Call Centers in India- Challenges for HR Professionals!!!
economic growth. In the immediate future, however, it appears unlikely that theIndia will lose its dominance over the call-center industry. – YaleGlobal 
Having a call center in India is the norm for several global companies today. In orderto meet the growing international demand for cost-effective, customer-oriented callcenters, many organizations worldwide are outsourcing these services by setting upcall centers in India. But what makes call centers in India such an attractive option?The country has intrinsic strengths which make it a major success as an outsourcedestination for call center work:A.A booming IT industry, with IT strengths recognized all over the worldB.The largest English-speaking population after the USAC.A vast workforce of educated, English-speaking, tech-savvy personnel: Aboon in a high-growth industry faced with a shortage of skilled workersD.Cost-effective manpower: In a call center operation, manpower typicallyaccounts for 55 to 60 percent of the total cost. In India, manpower isavailable at a fraction of the cost overseas. However, some people getdeterred by the fact that cost savings are not seen immediately. Initialinvestment in infrastructure and training can be expensive and make onebelieve that the promise of cost reduction is false. However, there will besavings and the fact that several global giants continue to set up call centersin India is proof of this.E.The Government of India has recognized the potential of IT-enabled servicesand has taken positive steps by providing numerous incentives.F.The presence of most international technology vendors and solutions wouldenable creation of most advanced set-ups in this technology- intensivesegment.One company in India proposes to harness the high-quality technical supportavailable here by hiring 300 Ph.D.'s to provide very high-end consulting throughvideoconferencing/telephone. Given these advantages, India could build a $17 billionindustry by 2008 according to the NASSCOM McKinsey Report.
How large is the call center industry in India?
India's call center industry accounts for a quarter of all software and services exportsfrom the country, according to industry association Nasscom, and Indian call centersemploy 160,000 professionals. Daimler-Chrysler, British Telecom, Barclays Bank,HSBC, Honeywell, Aventis, and several others have come to India while the oldtimers of GE, British Airways, Citigroup, Amex, and others have been around for adecade.
Various types of Call Centers
The 24/7 call centers totally concentrate on using the tactical skills and effectiveprocesses during the inbound/outbound call process. Their success depends on
Page Number: 2From The Desk of Sanjeev Sharma(Mobile Number: +91-9890788259)(Puna-India)
Call Centers in India- Challenges for HR Professionals!!!
expertise, technological solutions, quality assurance programs and commitment tocustomer service excellence. The different types of call centers are:
Inbound Call Center
An inbound center is one that handles calls coming in from outside, most oftenthrough toll free numbers. These calls are primarily service and support calls, andinbound sales.
The Working
The services of inbound call centers are designed to handle catalog orders, help deskqueries, dealer locations and more. They offer
customized services
that aredesigned to meet the requirements of all kinds of businesses. The inbound call centerprofessionals
process calls
and integrate Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and/orInternet services to sell additional products and offer services in a
.They also integrate customer care services,
predict customer behavior
and takeaction, while the customers are still on the line. The inbound call centers employ adedicated team of 
live operators
, account representatives and
. Offering 24/7 operator availability for the customers, these call centersprovide
round-the-clock account management
. The teams of qualified andtrained operators understands the business, products and services and perform todeliver their best. Using advanced
telephone service technology
andprogramming, these call centers lay great emphasis on attention to detail in
messaging and reporting
of all inbound calls.Inbound call centers offer communication services specifically designed to maximizethe efficiency of 
direct marketing efforts
or to be a part of the
technical supportteam
of the clients. They work together with you as a partner building a strong,successful long-lasting relationship with customers.
Inbound call centers offer
Skilled, professional, customer support and technical service representatives
Improved market coverage
Faster ramp-up, launch, and roll-out of new campaigns
Experience with programs similar to yours
Rapid response to market conditions
Account management expertise
Enhanced reporting capabilities
Market testing capabilities
The 24/7 services of Inbound Call Centre comprise of:
Order Processing
Catalog Orders
Consumer Response
Page Number: 3From The Desk of Sanjeev Sharma(Mobile Number: +91-9890788259)(Puna-India)

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